The Seaweed

USS Champlin DD-601  

Spring 2001

Ship's Bell Photo


We have received the following inquiries requesting information and recollections about former shipmates. Please help them.

From Anthony J. Manziano, son of Anthony J. Manziano SC2c, "My dad, Anthony J. Manziano SC2c, was a cook on the USS Champlin during the war. He turns 77 in May 2001 and I will be giving him a complete print out of everything from this truly wonderful web site (he does not have a computer). For the last several years, I know that he often thinks proudly back to his days in the service, however he doesn't seem to have many specific memories. I am hoping that much of the information and remem-brances gathered here will help bring those memories back. If you have any stories you could share about the food (good or bad), the cooks or maybe my Dad, please do not hesitate to post them here or send on an email."

From Paul V. Mathies, son of Paul Joseph Mathies, S1c (Cox): "My father served on the Champlin. I believe from commissioning until the end of the war. I was trying to find more information on the ship. Can anyone help me in the right direction. I've been fooling around in the National Archives without much luck. I only have one photo of him and a couple of buddies that I will try and find and send in."

From Kimberlie Neisig granddaughter of Alfred Carl Oeldemann, CWT. "My grandfather was Alfred Oeldemann. Many know he died in 1996 and I was wondering if anyone had any memories they would like to share of him. Please e-mail me if anyone remembers any stories about him on the Champlin. Thank you.

The Seaweed encourages all readers to respond to these requests and we will forward all responses to the appropriate parties.

Also in this issue:

In Need of 1
In the 1
More Chicken 2
Champlin 3
Champlin Memories (cont) 4
Champlin 5
Ship's 5
Gone to 5
Changing 5
Reunion 5
Norm Glass 5
Well Done 6
Thanks and 6


The following responses were received offering memories of the commissioning and early days of the USS Champlin. The responses are presented in alpha order of authors.

Steve Anastasion recalls, "Memories going back to September 1942 are very hazy. My first contact with Champlin was in the Spring of 1942 at the Naval Academy when my draw for assignment after graduation was a new east coast destroyer, the DD 601. My only prior destroyer experience was on a four-stacker for a few weeks during the summer of 1941 and I must say that my assignment left me sort of apprehensive. After graduation I was sent to the Dam Neck Gunnery school, and to the Key West Sonar School until the Champlin, still building, was nearly ready to float down to Boston. I first met LCDR Melson, prospective Champlin Commanding Officer, while I was at Key West.

"When I finally got to the building yard, I first found that I was assigned as Assistant Communications Officer to work with Bill Gauldin. A short few days later I was rescued and re-assigned to Bob Baughan's Gunnery Department as Torpedo Officer with Chief Smith and a truly great group of fellows. A clear memory is working, sometime during that period at the building yard, to help assign new recruits to become sonarmen and radarmen. None of us had ever even seen the equipment we were to become expert in at that time. But it all worked out well for us and the Champlin."

"On one of our first cruises out of Boston, the convoy to Casco Bay, ME, I learned the great misery of seasickness. I recall really rough seas with most of us on the bridge standing with one foot on the deck and one on the bulkhead with the ship heeling over about 40 degrees. There I was hanging on at the back of the bridge wondering where was the best place to let go while our Executive Officer, Charlie Smith, was calling loudly to me to be more alert. For a brief time I escaped into the radar room to check on "my men" only to come right back out. The smell there indicated there were many others who were afflicted as I was, but some also who were unable to keep it to themselves."

"Plank owners may remember Lt. Tom Hayward (think that was his name) who was so sick then and for some time after that he was transferred to a larger vessel and we never heard from him again. But most of the rest of us got our sea legs in a few months. One other early memory; for about six weeks during the early years at sea, my roommate was Dwight Shepler who did some great painting of the Champlin, in particular, the one looking aft showing the midship torpedo tubes. Later in 1965, while I was CO of USS Leahy (CG 16), Dwight sent me one of the last litho copies of that painting which I still have at home."

Bob Baughan writes, "My memories of Champlin's commissioning and first time aboard are pretty hazy after nealy 60 years and are not so clear-cut as two other commissionings . . probably because those involved me a PCO.

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